The Onion, CRIA Edition

While we were participating in a great launch of In the Public Interest, CRIA was across town promoting two new surveys that seek to link seemingly all teenager problems and recording industry woes with file sharing.  It is tempting to conduct a detailed analysis on how off-base these two new studies are – whether focused on the link between one of the survey sources (Environics, the same firm that run CRIA' s media campaign), the failure to address the existence of private copying, or the easily countered claims of enormous losses due to primarily to P2P.

Based on the reaction to the CRIA surveys, it seems to me that a full counter isn' t really needed though.  The claims are so over-the-top – as if a reduction in file sharing would somehow lead to less shoplifting or cheating on school tests – that the press release would be more at home as an article in The Onion, than in the traditional media.  It would seem the media agrees: several papers don' t cover the story and check out the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen and Vancouver Sun, who all focus primarily on our book launch instead.

Perhaps the most telling response, however, came at the Bill C-60 Open Forum yesterday.  The CRIA release was mentioned by one of the speakers.  The entire audience from all sides of the copyright debate just laughed.


  1. DEW in Ottawa says:

    That laughter could be both reassuring and frightening all at once, I suspect…

  2. David Sanftenberg in Gatineau says:

    We really need a public effort to educate people about how correlation does not equal causation, and how any study that points to percentages below its margin of error is a fraud.

  3. Darren James Harkness says:

    I wrote something similar to David’s comment on my blog:

    “They might as well have said that some people surveyed downloaded music and some beat up homeless quadrapalegic seniors, therefore music downloaders are more likely to beat up homeless quadrapalegic seniors; it has about as much basis in fact in terms of correlative value.”

  4. Brent Hannah says:

    Front Page News?

    These survey results rated the front page of the Edmonton Journal on Friday Sept. 30. I want to write a response and I would like to quote your article in it’s entirety. Please let me know ASAP if this is acceptable.

    Thank you,

    Brent Hannah